Sports Briefs: Riverhead grad Zilnicki named All-American

FARMINDALE BASEBALL COURTESY PHOTO | David Zilnicki of Riverhead was named MVP of the Farmingdale State College baseball team.

David Zilnicki, a former three-year varsity starter for Riverhead High School, was named the most valuable player of Farmingdale State’s team this year and selected to the ABCA/Rawlings Division III All American third team.

Zilnicki was a four-year starter for Farmingdale State, helping the Rams to four conference championships and four trips to the NCAA New York Regionals. He was named to the All-Skyline Conference team three times during the four years he played for Farmingdale.

In Division III this season, Zilnicki ranked fourth in stolen bases (37), fifth in both stolen bases per game (0.9) and on-base percentage (.552), and 14th in batting average (.434).

Over 41 games this year, Zilnicki had team-high figures in hits (53), runs scored (44), walks (29), stolen bases, batting average and on-base percentage. He was second on the Rams in slugging percentage (.541) and third in runs batted in (24).

Senior pitcher Tim Velys of Riverhead helped Muhlenberg College (Penn.) to a 20-win season this year. Velys appeared in 12 games as a reliever and was 1-0 with a 4.15 earned run average. He held opposing hitters to a .212 batting average and struck out 12 in 13 innings. The southpaw picked up his lone win of the season by pitching two-thirds of an inning in a 14-11 victory against Centennial Conference rival Ursinus.

For his career, Velys was 6-3 with a save and a 4.25 ERA in 55 innings. He ranks third on the Mules’ all-time list with 50 career appearances.

Muhlenberg posted the fourth 20-win season in program history, finishing with a record of 20-20. The Mules were 7-11 in the Centennial Conference, doubling their league win total from 2012, and set a school record with 84 doubles.

Oneonta State pitcher Steve Ascher of Mattituck completed his sophomore season with a 3.02 earned run average. He pitched 50 innings, allowing 52 hits and striking out 43.

The Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League will open its season on Sunday when the first of more than 140 games on tap for this summer will be played. The Riverhead Tomcats will begin their season at home against the North Fork Ospreys.

Each team will play a 40-game schedule, with the top four squads advancing to the playoffs. The postseason will kick off in late July, with a champion being crowned on the first weekend in August.

The season also includes the fifth annual MLB Scout Day, to be held on Tuesday, June 25, at SBU Southampton, as well as the first annual HCBL All-Star Game at Cochran Park, home of the Ospreys, on Saturday, July 13.

Approximately 175 players who hail from more than 100 universities will descend on the East End this summer.

The North Fork Ospreys have named Husson (Maine) assistant coach Chris Morris as their pitching coach. Morris is coming off his first season at the helm of the HU pitching staff, helping guide the Eagles to their North Atlantic Conference championship in three years. Husson finished the year 26-18 and boasted a conference-best 3.50 earned run average, and that figure dipped to 2.76 in NAC play.